Mountainous Marriages

This isn’t Easy Street, folks!

On the hottest day of the summer in the year 2000, I walked the aisle of my home church to enter into a covenant with the one I loved. I’m so thankful that we made that commitment before hundreds of people and that we chose to tie the knot securely in Christ. But let me tell you, it hasn’t been all peaches and cream since then.

The road of marriage is not a smooth paved path lined with shade trees and lemonade stands. (The honeymoon may have been like that, but then reality hit.) A more accurate picture of marriage is a narrow, rutted trail up the mountain where the path takes you along sharp rock walls and steep crevices, near rushing waterfalls and through barren peaks.

Every marriage has its ups and downs. How could it not? Two less-than-perfect people under the same roof… Nothing further has to be explained. But if we take a moment to visualize marriage as an adventure of mountain climbing with a trusted partner, we can be encouraged for the journey.

Know this, fellow climber:

  1. There will be times of carefree hiking and gentle breezes along the way. Enjoy those moments!
  2. It helps to learn to adapt to and appreciate the changes along the path. Look for what God would have you learn when you’re on the difficult parts of the climb.
  3. Mountain climbing must be done in tandem. You and your spouse must stay close to one another to safely climb, especially on the difficult parts. Make spending time together a priority!
  4. The climbing, though exhausting at times, strengthens your muscles. Both your spiritual and your relational muscles. It’s hard work. It’s tiring. But it’s worth it!
  5. While some points on the journey will be monotonous, they are still important parts of the climb. Persevere!
  6. If you look up ahead of you, you’ll see other climbers that have successfully navigated through the rough spots. Get advice and encouragement from them. Find friends and mentors to share with. Honestly.
  7. When the journey is over, it will have been worth it.

Marriage is not like a stroll down Easy Street. It’s more like a mountainous adventure.  “Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward – to Jesus. I’m off and climbing and I’m not turning back. So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us… Keep track of those you see climbing this same mountain, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them…  All they want is easy street…”

Not us. We want a successful climb to the heights. We want a marriage that matters! So join me. Tighten the laces on your boots, wipe off the sweat, and continue to invest amazing amounts of energy in your marriage. Be in it for the long haul! There will be some breath-taking views on this climb… both scary and beautiful…but as you keep looking forward and upward you’ll be given the strength you need to make the marriage climb with your partner an incredible success!

 *******************************

 (Scripture in quotation is adapted from The Message, Philippians 3)

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